The Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is the World's first 18.8X zoom lens for APS-C sized digital SLR cameras with an impressive 16-300mm zoom range, this gives the equivalent of 24.8mm wide-angle zooming to 465mm.
Designed to be an all-in-one lens and ideal for travel, this lens covers an impressive range, starting with a 24.8mm equivalent wide-angle view, this means you should not need to buy an additional wide-angle lens, as you would have with a 18-250/270/300mm lens. This also means you are less likely to get dust or dirt on the mirror, sensor and other parts of the inside of your DSLR. The lens also provides 1:29 macro reproduction and a close focusing distance of 39cm at all focal lengths.
16-300mm APS-C - equivalent to 24.8 - 465mm on crop cameras (25.6 - 480mm on a Canon), available for Nikon, Canon and Sony lens mounts.
1:2.9 macro reproduction (at f=300mm; MFD 0.39m/39cm)
Weight 540g, 99.5mm in length, 75mm diameter
Flower shaped lens hood
VC (Vibration Compensation) - not included with Sony A-mount version (due to in-camera IS)
PZD (Piezo Drive) for faster, quieter autofocusing
7 aperture blades with a cicular diaphragm (This circular diaphragm stays almost perfectly circular up to two stops down from maximum aperture, f/3.5.)
16 elements in 12 groups
3 Molded-Glass Aspherical (ASPH.) elements,
2 LD (Low Dispersion) elements
UXR (Ultra-Extra Refractive Index) glass
Rubber grips on the zoom and focus rings
Moisture-resistant construction thanks to rubber gaskets
67mm filter thread
Di-II lenses are performance-engineered expressly for digital SLR cameras with image sensors commonly referred to as APS-C
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Handling and Features
This lens gives the equivalent of 24.8mm wide-angle zooming to 465mm, on Nikon and Sony APS-C crop cameras, and 25.6mm to 480mm on a Canon camera, in 35mm terms. Previously the most optical zoom you could get in an APS-C super-zoom DSLR lens started at 18mm (27/28mm equivalent Nikon/Canon) and zoomed to either 200mm (Canon) 250mm (Sigma), 270mm (Tamron), or 300mm (Nikon).
The lens weighs 540g (lighter than the compact Nikon 18-300mm lens), and features a mostly plastic construction with a metal lens mount. There is a rubber ring on the lens mount to keep the lens weather sealed, and there are also rubber rings within the lens to stop water ingress.
The zoom ring is a tough large rubber ring with straight edges for a modern looking design. Between the front zoom ring and focus ring, which is closest to the camera, is a distance scale to let you know the distance from the lens and the subject marked in metres and feet.
Focus adjustments can easily be made as the lens features full-time manual over-ride which can easily be turned and is smooth in operation. Focus speeds are rapid with the lens quickly locking onto most subjects.
There a lens lock switch to prevent the lens from extending when not in use, and the lens is easy to zoom without any lens creep. The vibration reduction feature works well, delivering a steady image in the viewfinder.
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Performance
You can view a number of sample photos taken using the lens on the Canon EOS 7D below, simply click "High-Res" to view the full-size originals. Read our Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Expert review
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO General Article Images
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO Other sample images
Value For Money
The Tamron 16-300mm lens is available for £529, making it very competitively priced with the nearest comparable lens, the Nikon 18-300mm
at £615 for Nikon only, although the Tamron offers a wider wide-angle.
The alternatives available depend mostly on what camera you are buying for, with Nikon offering the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G for £615, the older bulkier version £630.
Canon users can look at the Canon 18-200mm, available for £370 but offering no where near the same zoom range.
Sony A-mount users can look at the Sony Alpha DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3, available for £430, but without the wide-angle or telephoto reach.
For all crop sensor APS-C DSLR cameras, Sigma offer the 18-250mm priced at around £300, although again without the wide-angle or telephoto reach. There is also the Tamron 18-270mm lens available for all crop sensor APS-C DSLR cameras, priced at around £330, although without the same wide-angle.
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD First Verdict
For those looking for an all-in-one super-zoom DSLR lens, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro provides the best zoom range available, with a useful 24.8mm equivalent, and 18.8x optical zoom reach, zooming to 465mm equivalent. An added bonus of the lens is a rather impressive close focusing distance of 39cm, which provides very good macro results, far beyond what is expected from a super-zoom lens.
As the lens weighs less than the Nikon D7100, just a little more than the Nikon D5300, less than a Canon EOS 700D, and less than the Sony Alpha A77 II, you can see why a compact all-in-one zoom would make an ideal lens for those who like to travel light, but still take their DSLR with them. Previously to get this range you would need to look at carrying an all-in-one zoom lens plus a wide-angle lens as well, or a combination of two zoom lenses. Read our full Tamron 16-300mm review here.
With thanks to Harrison Cameras for providing the loan of the Canon EOS 7D.